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Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience

Listed author(s):
  • Anthony Briant
  • Miren Lafourcade
  • Benoît Schmutz

This paper shows that urban geography matters to the effectiveness of place-based policies, using the French enterprise zone program as a case study. Whereas this program created more jobs in spatially integrated neighborhoods, its impact on local wages was only visible in the more isolated ones. In addition, a focus on the average impact of the program would lead to the conclusion that it mostly succeeded in displacing preexisting firms, but a lower level of spatial isolation was a clear determinant of the decision to create new firms from scratch. (JEL H25, H32, L52, R32, R38)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 88-124

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:88-124
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20120137
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  1. Neumark, David & Kolko, Jed, 2010. "Do enterprise zones create jobs? Evidence from California's enterprise zone program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-19, July.
  2. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2012. "Do unemployed workers benefit from enterprise zones? The French experience," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 881-892.
  3. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_instruments_randomization_learning_all_04april_2010 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2010. "Do some enterprise zones create jobs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 5-38.
  5. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
  6. Patrick Kline, 2010. "Place Based Policies, Heterogeneity, and Agglomeration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 383-387, May.
  7. Landers, Jim, 2006. "Why Don't Enterprise Zones Work? Estimates of the Extent that EZ Benefits are Capitalized into Property Values," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 36(1).
  8. Timothy J. Bartik, 2004. "Economic Development," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: J. Richard Aronson & Eli Schwartz (ed.), Managememnt Policies in Local Government Finance, pages 355-390 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  9. Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian & Py, Loriane, 2012. "The Impact of Urban Enterprise Zones on Establishments' Location Decisions: Evidence from French ZFUs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ham, John C. & Swenson, Charles & İmrohoroğlu, Ayşe & Song, Heonjae, 2011. "Government programs can improve local labor markets: Evidence from State Enterprise Zones, Federal Empowerment Zones and Federal Enterprise Community," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 779-797.
  11. Bondonio, Daniele & Engberg, John, 2000. "Enterprise zones and local employment: evidence from the states' programs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 519-549, September.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 155-253.
  13. Anthony Briant & Miren Lafourcade & Benoît Schmutz, 2015. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 88-124, May.
  14. Freedman, Matthew, 2012. "Teaching new markets old tricks: The effects of subsidized investment on low-income neighborhoods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1000-1014.
  15. Wang, Jin, 2013. "The economic impact of Special Economic Zones: Evidence from Chinese municipalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 133-147.
  16. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 238-243, May.
  17. Corentin Trevien & Pauline Givord & Simon Quantin, 2012. "A Long-Term Evaluation of the First Generation of the French Urban Enterprise Zones," ERSA conference papers ersa12p776, European Regional Science Association.
  18. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April.
  19. Roland Rathelot & Patrick Sillard, 2008. "Zones Franches Urbaines : quels effets sur l'emploi salarié et les créations d'établissements ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 415(1), pages 81-96.
  20. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Spatial dependence in local unemployment rates," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 169-191, March.
  21. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
  22. Matthew Freedman, 2013. "Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 311-344.
  23. Givord, Pauline & Rathelot, Roland & Sillard, Patrick, 2013. "Place-based tax exemptions and displacement effects: An evaluation of the Zones Franches Urbaines program," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 151-163.
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